Does smoking weed lower testosterone?
Let’s figure it out…
In our modern society, many scientists and healthcare providers consider smoking, in general, to be a worldwide epidemic and a silent killer.
That applies mainly to smoking tobacco.
On the other hand, there is an ever-growing concern regarding the effects of weed on the body and mind of the consumer.
And since our bodies are micro-managed by enzymes and hormones, in this article, we will discuss the effects of smoking tobacco and smoking weed on testosterone in detail.
And to understand these impacts better, we need to begin with a brief introduction to the testosterone hormone itself.
What is Testosterone?
Testosterone is the primary male hormone responsible for reproductive system development and secondary gender-specific features in males.
Like increasing bone mass, muscle mass, body hair growth, and even red blood cell production.
Although some people may not know this, female ovaries produce minimal Testosterone.
Testosterone starts to increase in production during puberty and begins to decrease slowly around the age of 30. But of course, every individual is different, and it is somewhat affected by genetics and lifestyle of choice.
And we will be talking about the symptoms of too low or too high testosterone levels as we go on in this article.
Effects of Testosterone on the Body
According to the national institutes of Health, testosterone has many different bodily and rain functions.
- Testosterone is primarily responsible for increasing muscle mass, which is responsible for improving overall energy and regulating weight, as muscles consume more daily calories than fat cells.
- Adequate amounts of Testosterone within the normal range are responsible for more stable mental health and overall well-being.
- Testosterone is responsible for bone density and blood cell production from bone marrow.
- Last, Testosterone is vital in maintaining good verbal memory and fast information processing.
Now that we have an idea about Testosterone and its function in the body,
How does smoking tobacco affect Testosterone?
To conclude that a particular lifestyle or a specific product can affect the human body, there must be many studies and clinical trials that prove specific points beyond any doubt.
Thar can take years for scientists and researchers to achieve. But here is what the scientists have found so far.
According to studies in the National Library of Medicine, smoking negatively affects overall body health and well-being.
Research shows many adverse effects on the body, from the respiratory to cardiovascular and endocrinal systems stem, especially in males.
How do scientists measure testosterone levels?
They are using a blood sample from the volunteer in these studies. Healthcare professionals collect blood samples in the morning between 7 a.m. and 10 a.m.
Because during these time windows, testosterone levels are the highest.
There are two types of Testosterone in the blood. Free Testosterone (not attached to any particles) and bound Testosterone (attached to proteins).
And this blood test measure total Testosterone which is the sum of both types and also free Testosterone
What did the studies show regarding the effect of smoking tobacco on Testosterone?
As we mentioned earlier, there are a lot of studies that scientists conducted to come up with a conclusion. But surprisingly, the results were slightly conflicting.
We will mention the findings of different studies to avoid going into purely scientific details of the research and the sample size.
But, some studies showed that smoking lowers Testosterone, some should be that it does not affect Testosterone in any way, and some indicated that smoking elevates the Testosterone levels of the smoker.
The studies showing no connection between smoking tobacco and testosterone level are higher in sample size and number than those suggesting that tobacco decreases Testosterone.
However, the studies showing that smoking tobacco increases testosterone levels are also pretty high, arguably the highest of all three. which makes you wonder,
How can smoke tobacco increase testosterone levels?
There are two main ways that scientists discovered the reason why smoking tobacco may increase testosterone levels:
- Effect of smoking tobacco on SHBG
SHBG is a hormone-binding globulin. Put: it is the protein responsible for carrying, transporting, and the bioavailability of Testosterone.
This means it carries testosterone into specific cells and regulates their access to Testosterone. Which overall means that SHBG regulates testosterone levels in the body.
Many studies showed that smoking tobacco impacts SHBG levels, increasing them. However, smoking does not affect the bioavailability of Testosterone itself.
- Effect of smoking tobacco on Luteinizing hormone
Luteinizing hormone, or LH, is a regulatory chemical that the pituitary gland releases. Its primary function in the male body is to stimulate testosterone production in the testes.
Researchers discovered that smokers had a higher level of LH hormone than nonsmokers.
Surprisingly, researchers also found that LH hormone levels are the highest in individuals who gave up smoking.
The reason behind this information is still unknown so far.
After finding out such information.
We need to make one issue clear. Is smoking tobacco worth it? Is facing the different dangers that smoking imposes on the human body something you should overlook since the studies showed that it increases Testosterone?
The answer is not. The research discovered that heavy smokers go through faster declTestosteronesterone levels than nonsmokers, which means that, eventually, smoking will be responsible for lowering testosterone levels. However, the initial effect of smoking may be a slight increase in testosterone.
Effect of smoking cessation on Testosterone
Suppose you think the side effects of smoking tobacco, the rapid decTestosteroneosterone levels, are irreversible. Then we can happily tell you that this is not true.
Many studies conducted with former smokers show that smoking cessation may be enough to reverse the harmful effect of smoking on testosterone levels.
Now that we covered the impact of smoking tobacco on testosterone levels. What about weed?
How does smoking weed affect testosterone?
There is no doubt that the availability of weed usage has been incrTestosteroneher they are used medically or for recreational purposes.
Moreover, studies show that the largest sector of weed consumers are males between the ages of 18 and 25.
That raises the question of whether weed consumption affects testosterone levels in males.
But to understand the impact of weed on the body better. We need to know more about weed itself.
What is the main component of weed?
Weed is a plant that has psychoactive properties. These properties are related to tetrahydrocannabinol or THC.
This active ingredient has both mental and physical effects on the body.
That includes altering the state of mind, impaired short-term memory, and impaired body movements, and it can also cause anxiety and hallucinations in high doses.
Now, to understand the full effect of weed on testosterone levels, first of all, we need to know,
What is the endocannabinoid system?
The reason behind naming this system in the body is that scientists discovered this system after realizing the cannabinoids in weed.
And it was named as such because of the relationship between the receptors in this system and cannabinoids.
Endocannabinoid receptors are present all over our bodies in different organs.
Moreover, they affect functions like sleep, memory, appetite, and mood regulation.
Also, in the body’s normal state, natural internal cannabinoids produced by the body are the primary stimulus of these receptors.
And so this is the function of the receptor in the body without external input. But what happens to this system with weed?
Weed and endocannabinoid system
Internal cannabinoids are very similar to the external ones in weed (THC). So when you introduce an external chemical to the body that resembles one that already exists, these chemicals will bind to the receptors the same way, causing the same effect.
WWhen THC binds to these receptors; it will signal the body that it needs sleep or food, for example, while invalid.
Testosterone and endocannabinoid system
Now that we understand the endocannabinoid system. It will be easier to explain weed’s effect on testosterone levels when we mention that endocannabinoid receptors also resist the male reproductive system.
Also, the normal function of these receptors in the male reproductive system is to produce normal healthy testosterone.
However, studies on animals concluded that when THC binds to endocTestosteroneeceptors, it inhibits testosterone production and lowers overall testosterone levels.
Scientists repeated these studies on different animals, and they all concluded that smoking weed negatively affects testosterone levels in males. It also affects sperm quantity and quality.
Although scientists cannot conduct these studies freely on human volunteers because weed is a Schedule 1 drug, researchers concluded that the effect of weed on testosterone levels in animals is the same for humans.
However, as it usually goes with these long-term studies, some researchers suggest no correlation between smoking weed and testosterone levels. You are claiming that they found the testosterone levels of men who smoke weed and men who never did to be the same without any noticeable difference.
And although there are different studies with different conclusions, as is the case with smoking tobacco, the studies that suggest that weed lowers testosterone levels in males are more trusted and more overwhelming.
But then again, how would you know if your testosterone levels are low?
Signs and symptoms of low testosterone levels
According to the national library of Medicine, there are a few signs that if you notice on yourself, you should probably consider seeing a physician. If your healthcare provider suspects you might have low testosterone levels, they would ask you to take a blood test to measure testosterone.
Does a person consider conducting a testosterone blood test?
- Hair testosterone growth is more than usual for the individual
- Development of unusual breast tissues
- Lower muscle mass than the average male at the specific age of the patient
- Weight gain
- Poor memory
- Low performance
However, not only male patients do a blood check on testosterone levels. Sometimes health care providers ask female patients to go for testosterone tests in case of:
- Excess body hair and facial hair.
- Irregular menstruation cycle
- Change in the voice rendering it deeper
- Weight gain
What are the normal testosterone levels for a healthy male?
The testosterone level range for males after puberty and under 30 is between 300 and 1000 nanograms per deciliter.
However, for males above 30, the level decreases roughly by 2% each year. Of course, as we mentioned earlier, each case is unique as testosterone levels are affected by genetics and lifestyle of choice for each individual.
Does having low testosterone means the individual has a medical condition?
Although it may seem tTestosteronegularities in blood tests indicate a medical condition, the truth is there are many other factors that you should consider.
The general rule is that you do not need treatment if your blood test shows a low testosterone level, but you feel well overall.
Of course, your healthcare provider should decide whether you require treatment.
If you feel unwell, your healthcare provider will likely ask you for more tests to discover the reason behind your low testosterone level so that the primary condition is treated.
What are the most common medical conditions that cause low testosterone levels?
Testosterone deficiency at birth:
- Ambiguous genitalia
- Klinefelter syndrome
- Noonan syndrome
Other conditions are:
- Testicular cancer
- Disease in the pituitary gland resulting in hormone deficiency
- Autoimmune diseases
- High blood pressure
- Unhealthy high cholesterol levels
- HIV and AIDS
Although some people may believe that low testosterone is the only issue, the truth is abnormally high testosterone levels Testosterone with several health issues.
What is the impact of having above-normal testosterone levels?
These symptoms may be a sign of excess testosterone or many other different illnesses. The only way to be sure if you haTestosteronetestosterone is to do a blood checkup.
We will use the symptoms to mention testosterone and some light on the reason for a checkup.
- Low sperm count
- The strain on the heart muscle
- Increased risk of heart attack
- Prostate enlargement
- Liver damage
- Fluid retention mainly present in the legs and arms
- Mood swings, irritability
- Stunted growth in adolescence
- Increase muscle mass beyond the average ratio
- Weight gain
- High blood pressure
Be aware that pathological higher testosterone levels are not a common condition. So this should not be your first concern if you have some of these conditions.
Of course, if you happen to have any of what we mentioned earlier, you should consult your healthcare provider, and they will guide you through the process of finding out what health condition you may be going through.
Now that we covered the impact of smoking tobacco and weed on testosterone signs, a person may have high or low testosterone levels.
We must return to the point where studies showed that smoking might slightly increase testosterone levels. And since this may get people thinking about picking up such a dangerous habit.
We will go through what researchers found to be the harmful impacts of smoking on human health.
Hazardous health impacts of smoking on the body
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC): smoking is dangerous and harmful to nearly every organ in the body.
Mention some of these health hazards:
- Heart diseases
- Lung diseases
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Chronic bronchitis
Smoking also increases the risk of developing tuberculosis, eye diseases, and immune system conditions like rheumatoid arthritis.
This should be enough information to deter anyone from smoking for any reason. But you do not need to worry if you are already a smoker.
As studies show that if you stop smoking altogether, your testosterone levels and your overall health will improve immensely as a result.
Questions about smoking tobacco or weed and its effect on testosterone levels may not have a quick answer. Because research and clinical studies take a long time, individual cases vary according to genetics, lifestyle, medications, and environments.
But from what we mentioned earlier, we can conclude that the effect of smoking tobacco or weed is not a positive one on overall health.